Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one. Reassurance for those of us who fly routinely in our jobs.
For all you frequent flyers...
The Airline Agent
An award should go to the gate agent in Denver for being smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.
A crowded flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. As would have it, the airline left a single customer service agent with the monumental task of rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way past everyone else in line to the front of the counter. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said "I HAVE TO BE ON THIS FLIGHT AND IT HAS TO BE FIRST CLASS!!" The agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to help you but I've got to help these folks first, then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out.." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the other passengers behind him could hear,
"Do you have any idea who I am...??"
Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone and made the following announcement "May I have your attention please..." she began, her voice echoing throughout the terminal.
"We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 17."
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the agent, gritted his teeth and swore. "F#&*! YOU..!!!"
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to stand in line for that, too."
The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although the flight was cancelled and people were late, they were no longer angry at the airline.
After every flight, pilots complete a gripe sheet that conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The form is a piece of paper that the pilot
IF AIRLINES SOLD PAINT . . .
I was flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles. By the time we took off, there had been a 45-minute delay and everybody on board was ticked.
Unexpectedly, we stopped in Sacramento on the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be another 45-minute delay, and if we wanted to get off the aircraft, we would reboard in 30 minutes.
Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind. I noticed him as I walked by and could tell he had flown before because his Seeing Eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight. I could also tell he had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached him and, calling him by name, said, "Keith, we're in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?" Keith replied, "No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs."
Picture this, all the people in the gate area came to a completely quiet standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with the Seeing Eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, they also were trying to change airlines!
One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a flight are seated, waiting for the cockpit crew to show up so they can get under way. The pilot and copilot finally appear in the rear of the plane, and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle.
Both appear to be blind. The pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers right and left as he stumbles down the aisle, and the copilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with huge sunglasses. At first the passengers do not react; thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. However, after a few minutes the engines start revving and the airplane starts moving down the runway.
The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness, whispering among themselves and looking desperately to the stewardesses for reassurance.
Then the airplane starts accelerating rapidly and people begin panicking. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more hysterical. Finally, when the airplane has less than 20 feet of runway left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone screams at once, and at the very last moment the airplane lifts off and is airborne. Up in the cockpit, the copilot breathes a sigh of relief and turns to the pilot "You know, one of these days the passengers aren't going to scream, and we're gonna get killed!"
A True Story Submitted by Rod Lopez-Fabrega
It's one of those winter days at the airport in the nation's icebox, a.k.a. Rochester, NY, and all flights have been delayed because of weather. We've all been sitting around the departure gate for our flight to New York City for hours. Most of us have that pinched look around the eyes, but most of us are resigned. That's what happens in Rochester in the winter.
The intercom calls out our flight number for an announcement. Everyone starts to line up at the departure gate counter in anticipation of some sort of news. The intercom says our flight will be delayed yet another hour. The frazzled attendant starts to try to attend to individual questions.
I notice the man in front of me in line is doing a barely perceptible jig. I can see his neck is unusually pink just above the collar of his Brooks Brothers suit and the arm holding his black leather briefcase is twitching ever so slightly. He reaches the counter and the man uncorks! He goes ballistic!
He demands to know the cause of the delay. He shouts to the startled attendant that he must be in New York for an important meeting, and he's already late. The attendant tries courteously to calm him down. It's an unavoidable weather delay. All flights are delayed, etc., etc.
He just gets redder in the face. He demands to know what her name is. He shouts out for all to hear that he is going to write to the president of the airline about this unforgivable snag that's been thrown in his way. Somehow he seems to be under the impression it's all her fault and it's a conspiracy against him personally.
Miraculously, the attendant keeps her voice down and her courtesy quotient remains steady. The man stomps off, muttering loudly.
I come up to the counter. I know self-control when I see it, and I can admire a textbook case of how to stay cool during a seismic disturbance. I ask the attendant, "How do you manage to put up with this sort of thing?"
"It's O.K.," she says. "He's going to New York, but his luggage is going to Kuala Lumpur."
WHY AMERICANS SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL
The following are actual stories provided by travel agents
* I had someone ask for an aisle seat so that their hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.
* A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"
* I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. "Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa." Her response ... click.
* A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."
* I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."
* Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time."
* A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 820am and got into Chicago at 833am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!
* A woman called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who's luggage belongs to who?" I said,"No, why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?" After putting her on hold for a minute while I "looked into it" ( I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.
* I just got off the phone with a man who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied,"I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.
* "A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever."
* A business man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those."I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."
* A woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York" The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere. The customer retorted, "Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"
*I had someone who wanted to stay at the Bob Newhart Inn in Connecticut. When I explained that the inn was fictional, the customer became very irate and insisted "I know it is real, I see people check in every week!"
On the air!
Occasionally, airline attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining..
Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane...
" And, after landing "Thank you for flying XYZ Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on an XYZ flight announced "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
From a XYZ Airlines employee.... "Welcome aboard FlightXXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised.
In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.
Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than XYZ Airlines."
"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments."
Once on a XYZ flight, the pilot said, "We've reached our cruising altitude now, and I'm turning off the seat belt sign. I'm switching to autopilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight."
"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children."
"As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses." "Last one off the plane must clean it."
And from the pilot during his welcome message "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry...Unfortunately none of them are on this flight...!
Heard on XYZ Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what ya'll are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendants' fault.....it was the asphalt!"
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no Ma'am," said the pilot, what is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"
After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the Flight Attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.
Part of a Flight Attendant's arrival announcement "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of us here at XYZ Airways."
Subject: Voting won't help
Ten Things You *Don't* Want to Overhear Over an
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